Stephen Miles is Professor of Music at New College of Florida and Director of New Music New College. On July 1, 2011, he stepped into a new administrative role as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
photo credit: Nancy Nassiff
“Steve’s outstanding record of accomplishment in the traditional areas of teaching, research and service includes the requisite strengths necessary to provide leadership to the faculty,” stated New College President Mike Michalson in announcing the appointment. “In addition, his administrative service as both a division chair and as the chair of key faculty committees gives him a broad-based perspective on faculty governance and overall administrative life at the College.”
Michalson added, “Steve’s extraordinary success in elevating New Music New College to its current level of prominence speaks, not only to his vision and organizational abilities, but also to his capacity for community outreach and fundraising as well.” Miles will continue to oversee the acclaimed contemporary music series in his new role as Provost.
Professor Miles holds a D.M.A. degree from the University of Illinois and has been on the New College faculty for over 20 years. He is an active composer, performer, and theorist, focusing on the social dimension of music. Since 1990, he has composed vocal music almost exclusively. In 2005, Miles’s De profundis clamavi, for twelve voices, was awarded Third Prize in The New York Virtuoso Singers’ First Annual Choral Composition Competition and was premiered by the NYVS in Manhattan. His works include Social Studies (2003), musical games for performers and audience, and Living and Dead: The Gettysburg Project (2009), a theater piece co-composed with Margaret Eginton, adjunct professor of theater at New College.
Miles founded and is director of New Music New College (NMNC), which functions as a laboratory for interdisciplinary research, with particular emphasis on musical composition, performance theory and social theory. Over the course of the last 12 years, NMNC has presented vocal works by such composers as Luciano Berio, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pauline Oliveros, as well as student composers, and has featured leading performers of contemporary music, such as Kathleen Supové, Pamela Z, The JACK Quartet, Andrew McKenna Lee and the Borup-Ernst Duo.
Of NMNC, Miles says, “The students and I ask basic questions: ‘What is music? What is performance? What is their value? What is the value of tradition?’ These are questions that music be pursued experientially, not simply in the abstract.” In 2006, he presented papers on NMNC projects at two conferences in Vienna: the “Social Theory, Politics and the Arts” conference and the “International Conference on Cultural Policy Research.” He also has published articles about NMNC projects in such leading journals as Perspectives of New Music, Music and Arts in Action and in the edited volume, Audiences and the Arts: Communication Perspectives.
His most recent article appeared in TDR: The Drama Review (Summer 2010, Volume 54 Number 2), published by New York University and MIT. The article, “Seeing Cage, Hearing Beuys,” was based on the original performance of John Cage’s Song Books staged by Miles and his students at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in 1998 at a major exhibition of Joseph Beuys’s multiples. Miles and students reprised the Cage Songbooks at the Musuem during the 2010-2011 season of New Music New College.